Just Get It Out There

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com, Steve’s Tumblr, and Pillowfort.  Find out more at my newsletter, and all my social media at my linktr.ee)

Are you a writer? Good, get your work out there in the world, even if you have to change it up later.

The world is on fire, history is being made, and we’d like it to stop, thanks. Get your book or zine or whatever get out there now so people can experience it. You’ll figure out how to do better later if you need to.

I came to this conclusion while debating putting out print versions of my worldbuilding minibooks. These small guides to specific worldbuilding questions are maybe 55-75 pages in print, the kind of thing that is usually just an ebook. However, since I could see people gifting these, taking notes in them, etc. I started exploring how to put them into print.

That wasn’t as easy as I thought.

I could do them through Amazon, which has a great POD setup that parallels their easy Kindle system. But I could do IngramSpark and get them into bookstores (though It’d cost me). I then began debating my choices . . .

Suddenly I remembered Zine culture and its rapid, DIY aesthetic. Zine-makers often aim to get things out, sometimes against the odds. Putting something into a usable form makes it more likely it gets used, and Zine culture emphasized getting stuff to people.

Then looking at the state of the world, I realized that if I wanted to get my work into people’s hands in print, I should just do it. I didn’t know what the future held, but I knew what would let me get my work out in print before too much future happened.

So I decided to go to Amazon. Any other debate aside, it would let me do it faster and with a system I knew. I could always change up later.

I implore you, as a fellow writer, to get your work out there in whatever reasonable way you can. Maybe it will just be an ebook; perhaps you’ll decide to go with IngramSpark and pay the fees to get to bookstores, or maybe it’ll be self-printed. Just do it before you don’t have the chance to.

Hell,  getting your work out there in these crazy times might make the times less crazy. I’m not saying ramming your book out through Draft2Digital will save the world, but you might save it for some people. It’s far better than whatever you’ve written sitting there unappreciated and unread.

Steven Savage

Steve’s Update 9/11/2022

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com, Steve’s Tumblr, and Pillowfort.  Find out more at my newsletter, and all my social media at my linktr.ee)

OK I think I have a grasp on my schedule. It’s been a wild time – first I get COVID, then go back to work as the financial year ends, then deal with allergies, heat waves, and more. So I’ve had to stretch out my schedule.

I also would note for 2023 my plan is to leave me more space to experiment with a big focus on the worldbuilding books and creative empowerment.

“Think Agile, Write Better”: Back to editing this, with a plan to (hopefully) send it to beta readers in early October.  I also have one more Agile book I want to write, and am not sure when I want to do that in 2023.

The Way With Worlds series: I’m aiming to do just one more book this year instead of two – losing one month threw off a lot.

The Seventh Sanctum rewrite: Really just need to find a day, so as I am hitting max vacation balance, let’s see if that helps.  Right now I’m doing a code/launch review to refresh my memory.

Steven Savage

A Certain Intimate Dissatisfaction

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com, Steve’s Tumblr, and Pillowfort.  Find out more at my newsletter, and all my social media at my linktr.ee)

I’ve felt a disinterest in media lately.  It was only after some analysis that I understood how much media lacks intimacy.

Something has been itching at the back of my mind lately, a dissatisfaction with most media.  It wasn’t  hatredjust a sense of being unfulfilling.  I’m not saying the media were even bad, but I felt something was missing.  Instead of trying to scratch this itch, I leaned into it to learn it’s nature.

This sense of unease was tied to a recent interest in old alternative music radio shows, strange zines, audio ephemera, sound collages, etc.    Those things were unique, with passion for once-obscure (and still obscure) bands, remixing techniques, personal interests, and so on.  Each one was a little ball of itself.

Compared to that, many movies, television, etc. seemed so sterile.  Oh, it might be good, but the market is filled with works that look alike, everything is overhyped, and it’s impersonal.  There was a lack of connection there.  I could enjoy some crappy B-movies more than the big thing I had to see, with a few exceptions (Everything Everywhere All At Once, for instance).

This ‘itch” didn’t apply to video games, which was another clue.  I love Early Access games, being able to give feedback, and be involved in the process.  I also loved digging up strange, obscure, and unique titles to play, those visions giving form.

I understood then – I craved the intimacy of media involvement.  Of being involved in the creation and sharing it (like Early Access games, or Zines).  I missed things that were personal experiences with that sense of craftsmanship (Zines, alternate music, strange films).  With this in mind, I’m finding my interests again, often in the strangest places – of which I may write more in time.

I think our modern media, which often produces things that can be good, also creates works that are mass-marketed, polished, and targeted.  Things may be optimized, but optimization isn’t personal.  When you’re just caught within a statistics range, you know.

I suspect this is an unappreciated part of fandoms as well.  Some fandom experiences are intimate, with fanfic, art, cosplay, conventions, etc.  The flawed or over-engineered creation can bring people together, who then transcend the original work.  Fandom can add something to the experience of a media, a something I don’t think is fully appreciated by many.

So now I have a grasp of this itch, this sense of dissatisfaction.  I miss work that is connected, personal, and above all not over-engineered.  I miss media that helps me connect with people and indeed to the “bigger picture.” 

I’m not sure where this will take my tastes, or my own creative works, but it’s going to be an interesting trip.  You’ll be along for the ride and plenty of blog posts – and what’s sure to be a connecting experience.

Steven Savage